Sperm Donation or Adoption? Which is Best for You? 

Have you and your spouse or partner struggled to get pregnant? Have you tried all the various fertility treatments, from oral medications all the way up to in vitro fertilization?

Fertility treatments can be expensive and exhausting. At a certain point without success, many couples decide to get off the fertilization ladder and explore other options. Very often, two of those options are adoption and assisted reproduction, with either a donated egg or sperm.

If the male in the relationship is the one with the fertilization challenges, then donated sperm may seem like a natural choice. However, there are complications with both sperm donation and adoption.

You should carefully way each option to decide which is best for you. There is no right or wrong answer that applies to every couple and situation. Everything will seem daunting at first but guides on parenting such as the ones seen from Motherhood Community will help you determine which option is suitable for you!

Sperm Donation

With sperm donation, you receive vials of sperm from a donor. They can be inserted at a clinic or you can do it yourself at home. The idea of impregnating one’s self with another man’s sperm may seem odd or off-putting at first, but it is a highly common form of assisted reproduction. For more information on the process, visit seattlespermbank.com

Below are a few things to consider with sperm donation:

Cost. One of the reasons sperm donation is popular is that it is affordable. Even at a clinic, you can usually obtain sperm vials for less than $2,000. If you obtain the sperm from someone you know, you can get it for less than that. Yes, people do obtain sperm from friends and other associates.

Genetic certainty. One of the other appealing aspects of sperm donation is that you know the child will have genetics from the mother in the relationship. That often gives reassurance that you at least know where 50% of their genes are coming from.

 If you obtain the sperm from someone you know, then you’ll have 100% certainty on their genetic background. Even at a clinic, you may be able to get information about the donor’s family health, education, career, and more.

Stigma. While sperm donation is a common form of assisted reproduction, it does have a stigma attached to it. For many men, the idea of their wife or partner becoming pregnant with another man’s child is difficult to deal with, even if the conception happens artificially and not through sexual intercourse. The man in the relationship may feel uncomfortable sharing the method used to conceive.

Complicated relationships. If you are going to use sperm donation, it is critical that you have a legal document that states the limits on the donor’s relationship with the child. Without that document in place, it is very possible for the donor to introduce himself into the child’s life and attempt to forge a relationship as the father.

 Obtaining sperm from a friend or associate may be appealing, but understand that it will create a lifelong connection between you and that person. Make sure you and the donor both understand his role and have legal documents outlining that role.


Adoption is also a very common solution for those who are struggling to conceive. Below are a few things to consider with adoption.

Cost. Adoption is popular, but it is pricey. It’s common for adoptions to cost $30,000 or more, depending on the circumstances around the adoption. You can reduce that cost by adopting through the foster system, but then you have less choice in the child you receive.

No pregnancy. For many women, being pregnant is part of the process. They want to be pregnant and form a bond with their child in the womb. You obviously do not get that experience with adoption.

Choice. Depending on the manner you choose, you may get to determine the mother and child you adopt. Many agencies have multiple pregnant women looking to put a child up for adoption, so you can determine the background and fit that is right for your family. You could choose to help a child being born into unfortunate circumstances.

Complicated relationships. It is very common for adopted children to want to seek their biological families later in life. This is a natural feeling for many adopted children. A reunion with the biological parents can be difficult for the adoptive parents. Before adopting, consider whether you’re ready to have the biological parent back in the picture at some point in the future.


Both sperm donation and adoption are great ways to build a family. However, they each come with their own set of pros and considerations. Explore your options carefully and choose the path that is right for you.